Tappan Zee sophomore Burke is Rockland's best

Tappan Zee sophomore Burke is Rockland's best

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Tappan Zee sophomore Burke is Rockland's best

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Brian Gaffney hits a drive on the 11th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Brian Gaffney hits a drive on the 11th hole during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By the time he made the turn Tuesday, Tim Burke knew he had put himself in position to win. So the Tappan Zee sophomore kept the head cover on his driver and played conservative golf. And he was left with zero regrets.

Burke’s hot start and steady finish resulted in a 1-under-par 71 and a seven-shot victory at the Rockland County tournament Tuesday at Rotella Golf Course in Thiells. He had a pair of birdies on a bogey-free front nine.

“I was playing pretty well. I was hitting a lot of fairways on the front nine,” Burke said. “I knew I would have a shot to win so I played pretty conservative on the back and hit a lot of irons off the tee. I was able to really go at the pins all day.”

Burke birdied Nos. 7, 9 and 11 and actually arrived at No. 14 at 3-under. Although he didn’t quite finish blemish-free, Burke’s round was representative of his play this season. He has the best scoring differential on Tappan Zee despite playing several matches as the team’s No. 3.

Burke credited the three weeks he spent training at IMG Academy in Florida last summer.

“I was very confident,” he said. “Of my goals for this year that for myself, this was one of the big ones on the list was to win the county championship.”

Burke finished seven shots ahead of North Rockland’s Dom Greco. Teammates Frankie and Sean Lavery tied for third after shooting 79s. Clarkstown North’s Shkelqim Kukaj carded an 82 to complete the top five.

Section 1 will host its annual two-round sectional tournament on May 23 at Waccabuc Country Club and May 25 at Fenway Golf Club.

Twitter: @lohudinsider

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